Should I go to ER for pinched nerve?

Pinched nerve or radiculopathy – it a condition in which the nerve roots are damaged. This may be caused by a variety of reasons incuding significantly excessive stress, pressure or trauma. This problem is likely to occur at the lower back and affects the neck and other parts of spinal cord. One of the common causes of pinched nerve is a herniated disc.


  • Sharp pain mostly in shoulder or neck and lower back while sitting for long periods on foot,
  • Numbness in skin of leg, foot or arm
  • Weakness in leg or arm
  • Tingling sensation

When to go to the ER or Urgent Care?

If pain, weakness, numbness or tingling sensations are affecting the saddle parts of the body – any portion of the body that would touch a saddle – immediate care is important. These symptoms could be the sign of severe condition called cuada equina syndrome which would also be accompanied by loss of bladder or bowel control. If left untreated, it may cause paralysis of limbs or loss of sensation permanently.

 Mild conditions of pinched nerves don’t necessarily lead to a visit the ER but may be treated through a routine medical checkup while severe pain should be treated urgently through the ER or Urgent Care unit.